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Research expedition on corals and global warming: Aug. 17-26 in Puerto Rico
Date:8/26/2008

nimals. SECORE's goal is to develop methods to eventually breed corals in captivity, thereby reducing some of the pressure to collect corals from the wild," she said. "We are starting by raising juveniles from wild-caught eggs and sperm, which enables us to provide aquariums with the corals they desire without damaging wild adult colonies. In return, the aquarium operators help us to perform the experiments and give us tips on how to raise adult corals in captivity, which is something they are very good at." Baums added that the establishment of good aquarium populations is a safeguard against the extinction of elkhorn corals.

The corals that Baums ships to aquaria will undergo one of two treatments: half of them will be exposed to species of the zooxanthellae -- algae that live inside the cells of corals and provide them with necessary nutrients and energy -- that naturally occur with elkhorn corals, and half of them will be exposed to zooxanthellae from other regions of the world, where elkhorn corals are not present. In past years, elkhorn corals in captivity readily took up foreign zooxanthellae and coped better than those that took up only native species of zooxanthellae. These observations will be tested in a controlled experiment as part of this year's workshop. While Baums said she would not release foreign strains of zooxanthellae into the wild, she does think such measures could be beneficial to corals that are maintained in aquaria.

Baums is partnering with Margaret Miller, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who will do the same experiment using corals from Florida, where annual minimum water temperatures are lower. The team will compare corals in the two locations to learn if there are any differences in their abilities to withstand high and low water temperatures. A goal of the research is to find out if current temperature differences between Florida and Puerto Rico will influence the
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Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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Research expedition on corals and global warming: Aug. 17-26 in Puerto Rico
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